Internet Trade Libel or Defamation: Similar Yet Different

Mark Clark - November 4, 2016 - What is Internet Defamation?

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We all know someone who has been the subject of internet defamation.  We receive inquiries daily about what can be done to correct a false statement made about someone on the internet.  Increasingly, there a significant number of businesses who are falling victim to internet defamation.  Businesses who are the subject of false and defamatory statements online or otherwise may have a distinct and separate claim against the poster for trade libel.

The standard defamation elements generally apply to businesses in that the content at issue must be a statement of fact that is provably false that causes financial harm or harm to reputational interests and the author was at least negligent or careless in its research of the true facts prior to posting the material online.  Generally, a business must also prove that the actual monetary damages and that the poster of the content acted with the intent to disparage your product or brand.  Proof of all of these elements will entitle the victim to be able to assert a separate cause for business defamation or the alternative label is trade libel.

An often overlooked potential claim in a business defamation or trade libel case is one that falls under the Lanham Act which is also known as the Trademark Act and is essentially a false advertising claim and is a claim raised against a competitor of your brand or business offerings.

If your business is victim to business defamation or trade libel, or has been damaged as the result of the false advertising of a competitor, then the attorneys at Traverse Legal may be able to assist you.  Contact us today for an assessment of your trade libel matter.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.